The New

I’m proud to present the new and improved a dramatic redesign of the very first Hugo powered website.

After 25 years of building websites I’m happy to say that this is the best website I’ve ever made and I look forward to sharing more content than I ever have before. Something about the new design is really inviting and honestly just makes me happy, and I think it’s going to be a big motivator to write more content.

Some History

In late 2012 I decided to rebuild my website from scratch. I wanted to learn Go and CSS3 and really learn them, not learn how to use the latest front end framework. My rule was No frameworks, no libraries, no templates, no plugins. I started with an empty file, wrote my own custom HTML and CSS and wrote a markdown / template processor in Go.

I wanted something simple, minimalistic, and clean. I also wanted something that was easy to maintain, easy to write and was very secure.

There was something very liberating about starting from scratch. I had a lot of freedom to experiment with different ideas and see what worked best for me. I was also able to do things I didn’t know I could do before.

I wrote my website alongside of a CSS framework I called Zombie — that nobody ever used again, a static site generator which I called Hugo — that loads of folks are now using including,,,,,,, &, and several Go libraries which are now among the most popular in the Go ecosystem.

I documented the launch in a blog post. That blog post was the first post ever published in Hugo. After nearly 10 years I’m really excited to reinvent it.

About this site

This time around I took a totally different approach.

Today there are 100s of Hugo themes available, both free and commercial. Here are a few places to find them:

I decided to go with the menca theme. It’s a very clean theme with a striking visual design. I loved the look and wanted to support our theme designers in our community.

This site is intentionally very close to the base menca theme. I’ve added a few small features to it and customized the style a bit, but thanks to thanks to a well designed theme and Hugo’s excellent theme overriding support this was trivial to do.

On the other hand, updating to the latest version of Hugo took me several months. I had a lot of posts and wanted to convert them to page bundles and add images for each post. Neither of these features existed when I launched the first time around. I went through each post one by one, added an image, cleaned up the meta data and fixed the ocassional typo. Unsplash was a great resource for the images.

In addition to adding images, I went through and added videos for many of the older presentations (the more recent ones mostly already had them). I also added quite a bit of content from presentations, podcasts and articles I’ve written over the past couple of years which regretfully didn’t make it onto the site until now.

Lastly, I added a featured section to the homepage. If you are new here, please checkout the featured content. I consider those my best work and I hope you enjoy them.

This new site supports in-site search, a wonderful feature that uses the approach found by Declaration of VAR. This approach uses Hugo to generate an index (which it does instantly on build) and then uses javascript to search the index. I imagine there’s a limit to the number of posts that this approach works with, but it works well for me with a few hundred posts.

I’m exicited to share this new site with you. I hope you enjoy it.

— Steve (aka spf13)

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